Nigeria #TwitterBan, official rascality taken too far ― CTA

A civil society, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA) has described the federal government decision to axe Twitter as official rascality taken too far.

Chairman, Steering Committee, CTA, Dr Chima Amadi, said this in a statement at the weekend.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed announced the federal government indefinite suspension of the social media platform on Friday.

Despite international outrage that trailed Lai Mohammed controversial pronouncement, his counterpart in the Ministry of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN on Saturday equally revealed a government stance to prosecute Nigerians who have resorted to advanced internet privacy technology.

Dr Amadi in the statement said the weekend proclamation by the Muhammadu Buhari administration was another act of desperation in its onslaught on free speech and determination to undermine the civil space and trample on constitutionally guaranteed rights of citizens.

“To be clear, there is no provision in the nation’s constitution that gives the administration such powers to stifle free speech and to prosecute citizens for exercising same. The last time this was experienced was in 1983 with the ill-fated decree 2 enacted by the military junta headed by the same Buhari.

This draconian administrative style has become the stock in trade of the civil garbed Buhari, especially since his re-election to a second term of office. This clampdown on free speech is coming within 48 hours of the revelation that the administration is allegedly fine-tuning plans to suspend sections of the Constitution in a power grab aimed at further shrinking the already shrivelled civil space.

“It is interesting to note that the administration would rather worry about the action of a private company on its warped messaging than checking the slide into anarchy that the insecurity in the land is portending.

“This action is not only an irresponsible display of official rascality but stands condemned. The administration ought to know that development can only be engendered when citizens enjoy their constitutional freedoms without fear of sanctions.

“I am therefore calling on the administration to immediately halt this slide into ignominy and to quickly apologise for this clearly not well thought out line of action. We cannot continue to be the butt of jokes among the comity of nations.”

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